Community First Grant Program

The 2020 Team Member applications are postponed for now and we will update this page once we have more info on next steps. 

Whole Foods Market Team Members in the U.S. and Canada can nominate nonprofits that increase access to fresh, healthy food or nutrition education for a $5,000 grant.

The Community First Grant Program is designed to support Team Members engaged with a nonprofit in their area, and nominations can only be made by Whole Foods Market Team Members. If a Team Member’s nomination is selected, the community partner will be asked to complete a separate grant application this summer.

55 Team Members Selected to Grow Healthy Food Access!

This year, 55 Whole Foods Market Team Members were selected to participate in our Community First Grant Program, supporting 60 nonprofits that are increasing healthy food access in their local communities.

This year’s Community First class represents Team Members from all Whole Foods Market regions and for the first time, we have a Team Member and Community Partner in Canada!

Here’s a small taste of the kinds of partners they recommended:

urban farms
community gardens
healthy cooking classes
farmers’ markets

Throughout the year, our Community First Team Members across stores, support offices, and facilities will build relationships with their partners to grow community access to healthy food and nutrition information. At the heart of each partnership is a deep respect for the good that already exists in the community’s food system, and a desire to work with local leaders to build it up for the better.

If you're a Team Member that wants to stay up to date on the latest news from Whole Cities, sign up for The Beet.



2019 Community First Grant Team Members & Community Partners


Click on a Team Member name to see their profile poster! 


Florida Region:

Dolly Fields
Tallahassee Store (Tallahassee, FL)
Community First Grant Recipient: Red Hills Small Farm Alliance

Jimmy Jaime
South Beach Store (Miami, FL)
Community First Grant Recipient: Health in the Hood

Lauren O’Mara
Bayhill Store (Orlando, FL)
Community First Grant Recipient: Hebni Nutrition Consultants

Global Support:

Amy Bell
Austin, TX
Community First Grant Recipient: Multicultural Refugee Coalition

Anthony Pavich
Austin, TX
Community First Grant Recipient: YMCA of Austin – East Communities Branch

Raj Roy
Austin, TX
Community First Grant Recipient: Mobile Loaves and Fishes

Mid-Atlantic Region:

Belinda Croft
Louisville Store (Louisville, KY)
Community First Grant Recipient: New Roots, Inc.

Carol Shapcott
Mid-Atlantic Regional Support Office (Marlton, NJ)
Community First Grant Recipient: Virtua Mobile Farmers Market

Catherine Kiely
Lexington Store (Louisville, KY)
Community First Grant Recipient: Seedleaf

Ryan Curran
Philly Center City Store (Philadelphia, PA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Methodist Services’ Heritage Farm

Sharon Ettinger
Allentown Store (Allentown, PA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley

Tara Pastuszek
South Street Store (Philadelphia, PA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Urban Tree Connection

Midwest Region:

Edward Whittington
Galleria Store (Saint Louis, MO)
Community First Grant Recipient: Community Garden of Hope Hill

Julie Wainwright
Midtown Detroit Store (Detroit, MI)
Community First Grant Recipient: Keep Growing Detroit

Rachel VanHoose
Sauganash Store (Chicago, IL)
Community First Grant Recipient: YWCA North Shore/Evanston

North Atlantic Region:

Annie Laurie
North Atlantic Regional Support Office (Marlborough, MA)
Community First Grant Recipient: The Roudenbush Community Center, Inc.

Deborah Tamborella
Hingham Store (Hingham, MA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Friends of Holly Hill Farm

Dee Dee Pumphrey
Charlestown Store (Charlestown, MA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Eastie Farm

Eric Wickenheisser
Hadley Store (Hadley, MA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Roots Rising

Erika Mercieri
Glastonbury Store (Glastonbury, CT)
Community First Grant Recipient: KNOX

Geoff Gardner
North Atlantic Regional Support Office (Marlborough, MA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Community Servings

Holly Aker
Portland Store (Portland, ME)
Community First Grant Recipient: Cultivating Community

Justin Roias
University Heights Store (Providence, RI)
Community First Grant Recipient: Smith Hill Community Development Corporation

Martha Marcucci
Hingham Store (Hingham, MA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Weymouth Food Pantry

Rick Garvey
Westford Store (Westford, MA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Habitat for Humanity of Greater Lowell

Tom Neal
Glastonbury Store (Glastonbury, CT)
Community First Grant Recipient: Charter Oak Cultural Center

Northeast Region:

Agnes Kerley
Albany Store (Albany, NY)
Community First Grant Recipient: Capital Roots

Maryann Young
Brooklyn Store (New York, NY)
Community First Grant Recipients: Isabahlia Ladies of Elegance Foundation, Inc.Ocean Bay Community Development CorporationWE STAY/Nos Quedamos, Inc.Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice (YMPJ)

Northern California Region:

Erick Bueno
Alameda Store (San Jose, CA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Veggielution Community Farm

Beth Plevy Wyland
Northern California Regional Support Office (Emeryville, CA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Homeless Garden Project

Jess Moreles
Palo Alto Store (Palo Alto, CA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Valley Verde

Roland Freiberg
San Ramon Store (San Ramon, CA)
Community First Grant Program Recipient: Spectrum Community Services, Inc.

Pacific Northwest Region:

Cody Potter
Laurelhurst Store (Portland, OR)
Community First Grant Program Recipient: Quest Center for Integrative Health

Grant Daisley
Pacific Northwest Regional Support Office (Vancouver, BC, Canada)
Community First Grant Program Recipient: Public Health Association of BC

Hannah Colwell
Pacific Northwest Regional Support Office (Seattle, WA)
Community First Grant Program Recipients: High Desert Food and Farm AllianceCommon Threads Farm and Farmer Frog

Leah Abell
Pacific Northwest Regional Support Office (Seattle, WA)
Community First Grant Program Recipients: Pike Place Market FoundationSolid Ground and Viva Farms

Shawn Gross
Pacific Northwest Regional Support Office (Portland, OR)
Community First Grant Program Recipient: Mercy Corp

Rocky Mountain Region:

Alison Goodhart
Union Station Store (Denver, CO)
Community First Grant Program Recipient: Hunger Free Colorado and Same Café

Ian Millman
Cerrillos Store (Santa Fe, NM)
Community First Grant Program Recipient: Reunity Resources

Heather Griffith
Trolley Square and Cottonwood Heights Stores (Salt Lake City, UT)
Community First Grant Recipient: Wasatch Community Gardens

Josh Coyle
Rocky Mountain Regional Support Office (Denver, CO)
Community First Grant Recipient: LiveWell Colorado

Melanie McCormick
Kansas City Store (Kansas City, MO)
Community First Grant Recipient: Cultivate Kansas City

Tianna Aliota
Fort Collins Store (Fort Collins, CO)
Community First Grant Recipient: Larimer County Farmers Alliance

South Region:

Chelsea Thornhill
Wilmington Store (Wilmington, NC)
Community First Grant Recipient: Community Enrichment Initiatives, Inc.

Erwin (Scott) Davenport
Cary Store (Cary, NC)
Community First Grant Recipient: Inter-Faith Food Shuttle

Lexi Adams
Poplar Avenue Store (Memphis, TN)
Community First Grant Recipient: Landmark Training and Development

Madison Franklin
Chattanooga Store (Chattanooga, TN)
Community First Grant Recipient: Crabtree Farms

Matthew Bagby
Sandy Springs Store (Atlanta, GA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Truly Living Well

Southern Pacific Region:

Gabrielle Thomas
Las Vegas Blvd (Las Vegas, NV)
Community First Grant Recipient: Together We Can (Vegas Roots)

Southwest Region:

Charlotte Hall
Bowman Store (Little Rock, AR)
Community First Grant Recipient: Dunbar Garden

Quierra Coleman
Shreveport Store (Shreveport, LA)
Community First Grant Recipient: Shreveport Green

Steffany Villalobos
Southwest Regional Support Office (Fort Worth, TX)
Community First Grant Recipient: Bonton Farms




Questions? Contact 

Download FAQs here.

Download Guidelines and Eligibility here. 

See examples of partnerships here. 

See a complete list of our 2018 Community First Grant Partnerships here.

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